Algal blooms produce large quantities of organic matter that is subsequently remineralised by bacterial heterotrophs. Polysaccharide is a primary component of algal biomass. It has been hypothesised that individual bacterial heterotrophic niches during algal blooms are in part determined by the available polysaccharide substrates present. Measurement of the expression of TonB-dependent transporters, often specific for polysaccharide uptake, might serve as a proxy for assessing bacterial polysaccharide consumption over time. To investigate this, we present here high-resolution metaproteomic and metagenomic datasets from bacterioplankton of the 2016 spring phytoplankton bloom at Helgoland island in the southern North Sea, and expression profiles of TonB-dependent transporters during the bloom, which demonstrate the importance of both the Gammaproteobacteria and the Bacteroidetes as degraders of algal polysaccharide. TonB-dependent transporters were the most highly expressed protein class, split approximately evenly between the Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and totalling on average 16.7% of all detected proteins during the bloom. About 93% of these were predicted to take up organic matter, and for about 12% of the TonB-dependent transporters, we predicted a specific target polysaccharide class. Most significantly, we observed a change in substrate specificities of the expressed transporters over time, which was not reflected in the corresponding metagenomic data. From this, we conclude that algal cell wall-related compounds containing fucose, mannose, and xylose were mostly utilised in later bloom stages, whereas glucose-based algal and bacterial storage molecules including laminarin, glycogen, and starch were used throughout. Quantification of transporters could therefore be key for understanding marine carbon cycling.